I am all for capitalism and the free market. I think people should be able to spend their money on anything (legal) they want. It should not be the government’s or my business whether Donald Trump decides to build a new mansion or donate the money to a charity.

I have even defended the “evil oil companies.” I have no problem with businesses making a profit and people being wealthy.

That being said, I think the church has been infected with consumerism and it is not a good thing.

Today on the way into work, a Hummer H2 pulled out in front of me. But what really caught my eye was the silver design pasted on the SUV beside the H2 symbol. It was the Jesus fish.

This is not an unusual occurance for me. In that same area I have seen two H2s (one black and one yellow) with Jesus fish on them. It grates my nerves every time not as a conservative, but as a Christian.

I can’t help but wonder if purchasing a huge SUV designed for off-road driving, while living in the suburbs is good stewardship. The base price for a H2 runs over $53,000, for $15,000 less you can get a nicely equipped Explorer.

But even as I write this, God reminds me of my own addiction to “things.” No, I don’t have $50,000 for a car (I don’t have anything for a car), but do I buy some junk food or a CD I don’t need.

I can’t judge the SUV drivers heart and that is what really matters. Is there (is my) heart set on Christ and desiring to be a good steward of what He has blessed us with, be it a lot or a little.

It is easy for me to judge and convict in my mind Christians who drive around in cars that cost as much as my house, but how much do I waste compared to others around the world?

Western (American) Christianity is concerned too much with stuff. We have to hold our services in the best, largest worship center. We feel like we are suffering for the Lord if our laptop is a 2003 model and we have to run Windows 2000.

This is one of the areas where evangelicals must seperate themselves from Republicans (or Democrats). We must not focus on wealth too much from either direction. We do not condemn wealth for it’s own sake, but neither do we seek to build it up for our own sake.

Christians are to be stewards of whatever it is that God has given us. If we are wealthy, maybe we should think twice about buying another new SUV. If we are poorer, maybe we should think twice about judging those with wealth and the own areas where we are wasteful.